Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Teaching at Horizons- Polymer Clay Retreat in Vancouver

The Vancouver Polymer Clay Guild will be hosting Horizons, their first retreat in Vancouver, BC from February 20-22, 2009. My friend Wanda Shum and I have put our heads together to develop co-workshops integrating our very different approaches towards a single project-"Leggy Bowls". Wanda will teach how to assemble a stunning new complex cane in a 2 1/2 hour workshop that's open to all. Fifteen pre-registered participants from Wanda's class will be able to bring their canes to be incorpororated in a funky little mixed media bowl in my Leggy Bowl Workshop.

Wanda and I are excited about teaming up like this!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Polymer Clay Workshops

I taught my Polymer clay Basics and Giftmaking Workshop last Saturday. I designed the class for beginners who had never used clay before. Basic clay concepts were introduced as the participants made two functional items and one piece of wearable art. The whole experience was a lot of fun and the participants were enthusiastic, innovative and inspiring!

I really love teaching and I'm planning to offer several in the new year- they'll include Polymer Clay Basics & Giftmaking, a new version of the Secretive Women Workshop and Boxes and Vessels. I have had requests for several other classes based on my jewellery making techniques. They are being put together so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Polymer Clay on Canvas

This week I decided to try something new to put into the upcoming show. I've pulled out a couple of 5x7 stretched canvasses that have been gathering dust for a couple of months and collaged the polymer clay directly onto the canvas. I used liquid fimo to prime the canvas and it worked perfectly. This was a welcome exercise after a few "daze" of production work. I think I know my focus for after the show!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gifts For Myself and Others 2008

If you are in Victoria this coming weekend make plans to visit the wonderful Gifts For Myself and Others Show. This will be my third year in attendance and it's without a doubt my favourite local craft show! I'll be in booth 27- drop by and say hello!
The Show is held at The da Vinci Centre - 195 Bay Street
Friday November 14 th Noon - 8:00 pm
Saturday November 15th 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
Sunday November 16th 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Friday, November 7, 2008

Progress and Possibilities

I was absolutely delighted this week when I was advised that I'm a finalist in the National Polymer Clay Guild's Progress and Possibilities Competition for my submission of "The Flower Seller". I am in awe when I look at the submissions of the finalists- congratulations to all!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Craft Show Countdown

I've been neglecting the blog for a while as I've been getting prepared for The Gifts for Myself and Others Show here in Victoria on November 14-16th. The show runs in exactly two weeks so I'm working on multiple polymer clay projects. The booth is set up in my dining room so I can check the layout and see if I actually have enough work to stock the space for 3 days!

The downturn in the economy has many artisans feeling concerned. Here we are spending money on supplies and materials for building inventory and fine tuning our booths while we hear how consumers will be curtailing holiday season shopping. Yesterday I recieved a letter from my supplier letting me know that polymer clay pricing has gone up. It's unsettling.

At this point there's nothing to do but forge on though, so here's the booth under construction. My screens are actually 4x6' bamboo mats strapped on with bungy cords. The advantage is that the boards supporting the ends of the matts provide a good grip point for my lights. The photo doesn't do justice to the gorgeous multicoloured organza I found on sale- it's got a wonderful jewel-toned sheen that really sets off my work.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Polymer Clay Pear Clock and a Great Source

I'm very pleased with this new clock- it's approx 6x12 inches.

In a previous post Michelle commented that Klockit was a great source for clockstuff. I checked into it and in spite of the current exchange rate, decided to give them a try. They are terrific! They have amazingly quick delivery too- less than a week including customs- this is especially impressive when you consider that the USPS mistakenly shipped the package to Victoria in Australia before it was redirected to my side of the globe here in Canada!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Precious Metal Clay Workshop- Gabriola Island

Anyone wanting a retreat combining inspiration and a beautiful location may want to book a spot in Linda Rajotte's Precious Metal Clay workshop at Jupiter Ranch on Gabriola Island on October 18 and 19. Check the workshops page for info on Linda's class then take the virtual tour the Ranch Website. Looks like an incredible venue!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

In The Trees with Polymer Clay

I'm not sure if this is a sculpture, polymer painting or a collage....suggestions? It's 5"x18". I found the frame at Michael's- simple unpainted wood designed originally as a house number plaque- this application works for me!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Time for Polymer Clay Clocks

I'm really getting serious about getting things made to fill my booth at the Gifts for Myself and Others Show here in Victoria on November 14-17. It's always good to have something new and this year it will be clocks. Yesterday I revisited my bird theme and came up with this one. I'm running out of clock movements (I ordered 12)- these clocks are so much fun to make, I may order some more! Considering ones with pendulums......

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Polymer Clay Tiles in Etsy!

My Etsy Shop is open!
There's a bit more tweaking required here and there but it's a good feeling to have it up.
You're invited drop to over and say hello!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Perfect Premo

...a follow up to my grumpiness about hard Premo-

Polyform shipped a replacement batch of absolutely beautiful malleable black Premo! I'm a satisfied customer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Earth Clayer Inspiring this Polyclayer...

The hard clay thing gave me the blues. Happily I have been advised that Polyform is shipping me 20 lbs of nice malleable premo for me to work with!
I cheered myself up by visiting Sandra Dolph's website. Sandra is an earth clayer extraordinaire. I never miss a visit to her beautiful gallery whenever I visit Galiano Island. Her work fuses the colours and textures of our west coast environment with a wonderful Asian inspired style.

I feel energised to try some tiles that veer away from flowers, fish and fruit for a while.... hope you'll visit her website and see how she inspires you!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Premo Polymer Clay Lacks Consistency

Today I'm in a pretty grumpy mood. I purchased 20 lbs of black premo and it's an awful batch. It's too hard and requires a ton of conditioning. Even after spending time that I can't spare on extra conditioning, when I run out a thin sheet it's too brittle to work with. I have tried the clay packaged on the July 7, 2008 and July 21, 2008. Two pounds of hell-clay.

My understanding is that Polyform has changed ingredients in its formula. Getting the right consistency has been problematic and and the difficulties have been passed down to artisans using the clay. Over the past year we have endured months of rock hard clay. My supplier included complimentary bottles of Sculpey dilutent but it's messy to use when you work with large batches as I do and the time wasted conditioning the clay is unrecoverable. After the hard clay era we had batches of very soft clay (that i loved) that frustrated caners. The worst of all of this is that you never know what to expect when you place an order. I just emailed my poor supplier who has no control over what Polyform is doing in the factory and explained the situation. I have a show coming up and constant orders- I need to be at work to keep up. Taking extra time for conditioning and dealing with constant cracking affects my business. An art-based business is hard enough without this issue.

If polyform blended the current clay (packaged on July 7, 2008) with one of the soggier batches from earlier in the year they might have a consistency that would please most clayers.

I'm waiting to hear what my supplier suggests- perhaps a swap for 18 lbs of Studio?


PS- my wonderful supplier has requested that Polyform replace the clay by express courier.... my fingers are crossed this will work out....

POST SCRIPT- the hard clay has been replaced with a beautifully malleable batch of PERFECT PREMO!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Perplexed Packrat

I am a packrat when it comes to materials for making art. My husband interprets my tendency to collect rusty bits of metal, weathered sticks, stones and dried up bits of seaweed as a sympton of a deep psychological disturbance, but as most of my best friends suffer from the same syndrome I usually don't worry about it much. Every now and then I begin to feel a bit hemmed in though and consider what I'm creating and whether my extensive stash compliments the effect I'm after. I did such an exercise a few weeks ago and with a smug sense of orderliness I filled bags with a tangle of sticks from many beachcombing sessions and sent them off to be chipped at the reycling depot.

I forgot the rule "If you toss something- you are guaranteed to need it within a few days" I did a batch of tiles today with a neutral toned organic sort of look. I have in mind to make a wall hanging with them.and I'm mourning the loss of a certain twisty stick that I discarded .... grrrrr

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Polymer Clay Clocks and a Great Tool Source

I made my first two clocks today and I am really going to enjoy making these!
It helped that I received a new tile cutter yesterday. It's like a very heavy duty cookie cutter and stamps out 5x5" tiles. Polymer Clay artists should always keep pottery supply stores in mind when they need supplies... I got my cutter from Clay King. The service was wonderul and considering that I'm in Canada and the package had to go through customs, the shipping was lightening fast!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moxie Tiles and Polymer Clay Projects

I'm doing pretty well with my September project list. The new "Polymer Clay Basics Workshop" is set up and I've begun spreading the word. Yesterday I received a box of clock movements for making some polymer clay clocks and today I finished a little collection of Moxie Tiles.

The Etsy Shop set Up Project is still ongoing.... the photos of the first ten tiles are done ....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Blog's First Anniversary!

I was looking at an echinacea in my garden and recalled posting about echinaceas in the early days of this blog so I back-scrolled and discovered that this is actually the first anniversary of my blog!

Thanks to everyone who has shared the year with me!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My New Polymer Clay Workshop!

Polymer Clay Basics & Giftmaking
Presented by Gera Scott Chandler in Victoria, BC-

In this lively and inspiring beginners workshop Gera will provide an introduction to the basics in polymer clay while showing you how to make beautiful one of a kind gifts for the special people in your life. The class is specifically designed for people who are new to polymer clay. The 5 hour class is project-driven and each participant will learn to use colour blending, backfilling, inclusions and basic millifiori techniques to create one piece of wearable art and two functional items that will be perfect for gift-giving in the upcoming holiday season.

Take your new skills and inspiration home with you and continue
creating special items for all the people on your gifting list.

Gera will also provide tips on packaging and presenting your creations.

$75 includes clay and materials.

A pasta machine is required.. Affordable starter machines are available at Michael’s or check garage sales, eBay or Used for deals on used machines!

The workshop will be held in Victoria BC

Saturday November 22 - 10:00-3:30


There will be a 30 minute break for lunch (not included )
Self-Serve Coffee and Tea will be provided.

Please email gera at to request registration information.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Polymer Clay September

I LOVE September! I think it 's better than New Years, maybe cos there's less food around or there are a lot of holidays to look forward to. Nonetheless it's a good time to come up with new goals that don't involve accumulated angst.

My arty goals are-

*Before October set up an ETSY store starting with with tiles for sale

*develop polymer clay classes- I'll be offering a local beginners class in October to start and begin to find venues to introduce my Crackle Process in Canada and the US - email me if you are interested

*make clocks- wall mount and stand-alone- that's going to be FUN- clock works are on order!

*explore the idea of Muses/Moxies and tiles in assemblage
*incorporate "cedar whips" in sculptural work- I need a big wind storm to do it. I'll explain when weather conditions allow.

*get a DREAM Machine- c'mon Artway!!

*Get set for the GIFTS FOR MYSELF AND OTHERS SHOW here in Victoria in November and blog through booth design as I go.
Who has time to rake leaves?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Inspirations- Kathleen Otley

I was able to visit dozens (and DOZENS) of galleries in Washington and Oregon and several artists really inspired me. I especially enjoyed Kathleen Otley's work which was displayed in many locations. She uses organic materials such as reeds, willow branches and feathers with gloriously textured fibres to make her beautiful wall pieces. She hand-dyes many of her materials for gorgeous spectral colour runs... imagine a skinner blend effect with willow twigs!

With her permission I'm posting some of her images here and I urge you to visit her website! Thanks Kathleen!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back Home from a trip to the USA

I'm back! We spent two and a half wonderful weeks travelling through Washington State and Oregon.

We started the trip by ferrying from Sidney BC to Anacortes, WA. We stayed in LaConner at the lovely Queen of the Valley Inn's Gen on the porch. Breakfasts at The Queen are out of this world and the hammock under the oak tree is one of Pacific Northwest's "Best Places" .

LaConner has some terrific galleries- my favourite was Earthenworks Gallery it was a treat to see a Laura Balombini piece there! Two Moons Gallery is also a delight. ... I'm still lusting over a certain coat I saw there.

We headed south to the Long Beach Penninsula- Long Beach is a kitch-ey beach town and after visiting the over the top Marsh's Museum with "Jake the Alligator Man" we had fun strolling along the misty beach. The beach is open to vehicle traffic which made a morning run in the fog a risky venture. As I ran down the beach I kept thinking that being mowed down by an SUV doing 35 mph in the fog on the beach would be a bizarre way to come to an end.

We stayed for a week in Rockaway Beach in the Cannon Beach/ Tillamook area of the Oregon Coast. Perfect beach house, perfectly mixed weather (storms and sunshine), the perfect beach for running and I even had a shopaholic's fix at the factory outlet in Lincoln City!

Here's the view of Twin Rocks from our beach rental house "Samarkand""

Cannon Beach is a fantastic town for gallery hopping... my favourite galleries there are Dragonfire and The White Bird. .

One of the highlights of the vacation for me was a horseback ride we had along the beach to Haystack Rock- I had an apaloosa called Navajo- riding along the beach has been a dream of mine and it was unforgettable. I'm still planning to do something horse-y in clay... it's been on the to do list for many years. Here we all are looking a bit like the Cartwright family before David Canary left for Pine Valley. *anyone who understands that is a soul mate ;-) and must make a comment!
After the Oregon coast we headed north towards home but stopped for a while up in northern Washington in the Sequim area. Port Townsend is another gallery hotspot- Earthenworks is there and there was another Laura B piece to enjoy! I was also really impressed with work in Gallery 9 As a tile maker and lover of ravens I like Sara Fitch's work- I treated myself to one of her raven tiles!

Through the trip we watched the Olympics and it was the only time I was homesick for Canadian television which is odd as good friends know I'm a CNN junkie. I'm afraid NBC's Olympic coverage is not as good as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - someone needs to inform NBC that "LIVE" on the screen does not mean live 3 hours ago (do they think west coasters don't have access to the internet?) and that there are other countries in the Olympics besides the USA- Washingtonians had CBC on in the pubs and told us that they enjoy seeing coverage that includes the victories of other countries and the accompanying variety of events. I like watching athletes from other countries stand on the podium and hearing their anthems... maybe it's because Canada doesn't sweep dozens of medals that lets our network present a wider range of events. I hope CTV, the Canadian network that will cover the 2010 Winter Olympic from Vancouver and Whistler will model the classy coverage on the CBC and not the jingoistic & time confused NBC.

Enough grumpiness- we LOVED watching the Democratic Convention! We also had fun listening to political talk radio- my 16 year old son was in hysterics listening to the conservatives- he has a Canadian's sense of humour and thought they were being satiric.

More tomorrow...I'll blog about some of the artists who have inspired me and some ideas I want to work on.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Bowker Creek Brush Up

As always, the Bowker Creek Brush Up was a great success- big crowds- great conversations and wonderful art! I'll be blogging about some of the people I met at the show in upcoming weeks.
Here are some photos of my booth... the pictures were taken in a rush - it was a very busy day!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Polymer Clay at the Bowker Creek Brush Up

On Sunday August 10 I'll be displaying and demonstrating my polymer clay work at the Bowker Creek Brush Up in Oak Bay ... it's an event with a happy atmosphere in a park setting with a lovely stream, bridge and meandering pathways. There'll be 34 artists and artisans offering work for sale and demonstrating their techniques.

The Friends of Bowker Creek will also be in attendance with information about Bowker Creek-
Look for me in booth 11!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Prettier Pictures- Galiano Island

Having that pasta machine picture as the welcoming image on my blog was sort of gross so here are some more attractive pictures I took on a recent trip to Galiano Island. The beach was composed of miles and miles of huge rocky slabs with amazing textures and sculptural effects. It's inspired an idea for something to do with polymer clay...

The photos are all of solid stone formations, there was no sand on the beach!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not A Pretty Picture - Waiting for a Dream

I'm going to be demonstrating polymer clay at a wonderful Fine Arts show this Sunday. I've begun to assemble my supplies and took a look at my pasta machine. It's no beauty is it? The motor attachment isn't holding properly so it's held in place with duct tape. The rollers are pitted as I frequently run sand, micro beads and other inclusions through them. I don't mind the pitting as I think it gives "tooth" to the clay for surface treatments. It's probably the most battered looking pasta machine in the world but it continues to serve me well now that I have positioned the duct tape do I can access the on and off switch! I want to retire it to a nice quiet polymer clay pasture when I get my hands on a 10" wide D.R.E.A.M machine but until the Dream is good to go- it sounds as if it's a waiting game. I'll have to continue with my dear little "beater". I think I'll treat it do a bit of a cleanup before the show and use the crank instead of the motor.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Anjou" A Polymer Clay Pear Muse

I've used pears as a theme for a while now and decided to extend the image to a Muse. Here's Anjou. Making the miniature pears for her bowl was fun- I rolled them in some gold and bronze embossing powder and got a nice effect- the stems are rebar wire. She's 19" tall.

The Sooke Fine Arts Show

It's summer exhibition season here in Victoria and I was absolutely thrilled to have "The Flower Seller" and "Helianthus" accepted into the Sooke Fine Arts Show! The show and sale is held from July 26-August 4th at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex, 2168 Phillips Road in Sooke. I'll be demonstrating some polymer clay techniques on Sunday the 27th from 11 am-1 pm.
Here's the website for further information

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Flower Grrrls in Polymer Clay

It seems I was inspired by Roberta's garden blog & a walk through the Empress Hotel Rose Walkway - these little muses took over the studio this week. Seems I'm florally fixated lately....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Polymer Clay and Gardening on Prince Edward Island

If you love exploring gardens you may enjoy visiting my friend Roberta Palmer's Garden Blog. She's a wonderful polymer clay artist and designer and obviously a talented photographer too! She lives on beautiful Prince Edward Island. Her work is for sale in galleries across Canada. Visit her Garden Blog at and her Polymer Clay website at

I'm always bugging Roberta to run a workshop on structuring and running a craft business at a Polymer Clay Conference - it would be outstanding!

Here are some of Roberta's sculptures...